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Title:Comparable Worth in Academia: The Effects on Faculty Salaries of the Sex Composition and Labor-Market Conditions of Academic Disciplines
Author(s):Bellas, Marcia Louise
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Hargens, Lowell L.,
Department / Program:Sociology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Women's Studies
Sociology, General
Sociology, Industrial and Labor Relations
Education, Higher
Abstract:Comparable worth scholars have identified a bias against work that is typically performed by women, suggesting that the cultural devaluation of women leads to the devaluation of work that women do. Studies have demonstrated that incumbents of jobs held predominantly by women suffer a wage penalty, earning less than those in comparable jobs held primarily by men. This study examines whether similar mechanisms operate within academic labor markets, asking whether increasing proportions of women in academic disciplines depress faculty salaries independent of the effects of labor-market conditions and individual-level salary predictors.
The project includes two types of analysis--disciplinary and contextual. In the first, the unit of analysis is the academic discipline. I examined the extent to which the percentage of women in academic disciplines influences the average entry-level salaries of new assistant professors in 1978-79, 1982-83, and 1988-89, net of the effects of labor-market measures (unemployment rate, percentage of qualified workers employed outside academia, and median nonacademic wage). I also assessed the effect on average disciplinary salary of changes in percentage female over time, and examined the possibility of a two-way relationship between percentage female and salary levels. Consistent with a comparable worth perspective, findings reveal a negative (nonlinear) relationship between the percentage of women in academic disciplines and average disciplinary salaries, net of the effects of labor-market measures. In addition, this appears to be a two-way relationship. That is, the percentage of women affects average salaries, but salary levels also influence the proportions of women in academic disciplines.
In the second stage of the study, the individual faculty member is the unit of analysis. I applied the contextual variables for disciplines (percentage female and labor-market conditions) to individual-level data to determine whether the sex composition of academic disciplines affects individual faculty salaries over and above the effects of labor-market conditions, sex and other individual-level salary predictors. Findings show that the percentage of women in academic disciplines has a negative effect on individual faculty salaries independent of the effects of labor-market conditions, sex, and an extensive set of other individual-level controls. I conclude that both individual- and disciplinary-level discrimination depress faculty women's salaries.
Issue Date:1993
Description:187 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1993.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI9328969
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-17
Date Deposited:1993

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